Plywood is composed of odd number of thin layer of wood piles bonded together with a rigid adhesive. The plywood boards supplied by us are remarkable for its stiffness as well as strength. They are extensively as well as effectively used for different purposes for the construction of doors, cabinets, panels and so on. The most remarkable aspect about our plywood boards is that they are light weighted and very durable. And when it comes to the wholesale plywood sheet suppliers in the market, we are the name to reckon with. Besides, we are one of the largest solid plywood manufacturers in the country.
Plywood is a versatile wood product, which makes it in great demand by contractors. America alone uses more than sixteen thousand million square feet every year which is meaningless until it is compared to a twelve-foot-wide pathway stretching from earth to beyond the moon. Plywood is a building material made from layers of thinly sliced wood, which is glued together. Each layer called a ply is arranged so that the direction of the wood fibers or grain is placed at right angles to the layer next to it & make Plywood & Veneer Production.
This placement of the layers equalizes a panel’s strength and prevents splitting. Plywood is usually made of three plies, but five, seven, nine, or even more plies may be used in some situations. The most common sizes of plywood are 4 feet wide and eight feet long and ¼ to ¾ inches thick. The dimensions and thickness can be different according to how the plywood is to be used. Two types of plywood are interior and exterior. Interior plywood is made with glues that are moisture-resistant. This means that the glue in the interior of the plywood has a limited resistance to water. On the other hand exterior plywood is designed to better withstand conditions resulting from moisture and humidity. This means that the adhesive of exterior plywood is capable of withstanding a certain amount of moisture before it starts to decay. Exterior plywood is also made with waterproof glues. The manufacturing process of making plywood consists of several steps. These steps include : Selecting the log, Stripping the bark, Peeling the log, Making a continuous ribbon of wood, Cutting and stacking, Gluing, Pressing, and Trimming, Sanding, and Finishing the wood.
Why Make Plywood : Timber is around thirty times weaker across the grain than along its grain direction. This is obvious when we split wood with an axe. Thus by bonding adjacent timber veneers at right angles using a rigid adhesive as happens in the cross laminated construction of plywood, we utilise this superior strength and stiffness along the grain to overcome this weakness. Put another way, plywood has no natural line of cleavage. Plywood maintains the integrity of the timber and finds a huge range of applications which utilise the enhanced properties mentioned below.
Dimensional Stability : Timber expands and contracts across its grain as it takes in and loses moisture to the atmosphere. The change in length along the grain due to changes in moisture is 1/100 of that across the grain. This factor, combined with timber’s much greater strength along the grain, in the cross laminated structure of plywood locks up this movement. This gives plywood excellent two way dimensional stability which is advantageous in applications such as large areas of flooring or concrete formwork.
Strength And Stiffness/Weight Ratio : The cross laminated structure further enhances timber’s high strength and stiffness to weight which is a major reason plywood is used in such applications as formwork, flooring, fabricated beams, road transport and materials handling. For example, the strength to weight ratio of F11 structural plywood is close to 4½ times the ratio for Grade 250 steel.
Split Resistance : The cross lamination controls any tendency for splitting along the grain and thus enables nailing or screwing very close to all panel edges. Additionally, plywood is highly resistant to edge damage when compared to other panels. These two properties combine to make plywood a rugged building panel.
Panel Shear or Shear Through Thickness Capacity : Panel shear capacity is the ability to resist loads in the plane of the panel. As plywood’s cross laminated structure prevents the tendency to split along the grain it has double the panel shear capacity of timber. This makes plywood an excellent material for bracing for residential wall framing, floor, wall and roof diaphragms, the webs in box, C or I-beams, and for gusset plates in timber portal frames.
Resistance To Concentrated Loads : Plywood’s cross lamination spreads loads sideways and gives plywood its excellent ability to carry high concentrated and impact loads that would break or shatter many other materials.
Resilience, Impact And Fatigue Resistance : As the structure of the timber is maintained and the fibres not smashed during plywood manufacture these closely related properties are all derived from the parent wood. Timber has high short term load capacity, and is able to elastically spring back or recover its original shape after shock or impact loads. Plywood’s structure further enhances this high resilience and impact resistance. Plywood, being an organic cellulose material is not subject to the fatigue failure of crystalline materials, e.g. metals and plastics. Plywood thus can endure cyclic stresses much longer than these crystalline materials which means it is able to maintain its strength under repeated loading.
Thermal Insulation With Low Thermal Mass : Plywood, like its parent wood is a good thermal insulator plus it has a relatively low specific heat when compared to other building materials. These two properties can be utilised for thermally efficient floor, wall and roof construction.
Chemical Resistance : Plywood reacts to chemical exposure much the same as wood, in that it has reasonable resistance to acid (pH 2) and alkaline (pH 10) conditions. Thus it can safely be used in most areas exposed to chemicals, for example in heated indoor swimming pool enclosures. Plywood performs very well in seaside applications under exposure to salt mist, thus preservative treated plywood makes an excellent external cladding for beachside housing. The preservation being to protect the wood from fungal attack. In fact, plywood cladding has a low vapour permeance thus it is also a good vapour barrier.
Sound Reflectance : Plywood’s ability to reflect sound is used to reflect traffic noise from highways, and in theatres as a lining to enhance the room acoustics.
Workability : Plywood can be worked with the same ease as timber. Sawing, gluing, nailing or screwing pose no problems
Aesthetics : Timber and plywood look great!
Plywood Is Timber Made Better!
Timber is a precious resource and the fact low quality, fast-grown timber can be used for the manufacture of plywoods means maximum value adding. Plywood from plantation timber, is an environmentally correct material. The modern structural plywoods have all the above advantages and can be used both aesthetically and structurally.
Log Preparation : The logs are first ‘debarked’ after delivery from the plantation. This is achieved by a machine which mechanically scrapes the bark from the log. It is good practice to ‘condition’ the log before peeling. This can be achieved by water sprays, immersing in cold or heated water, or by steam treatment. This ensures the log is at a high and consistent moisture content throughout which facilitates peeling and helps yield smooth veneer with less tendency to split or tear. Heating the log softens the timber fibres and further improves veneer quality and yield. Before peeling the logs need to be ‘docked’ or cut into ‘blocks’ or ‘billets’ around 100mm longer than the finished plywood panel, i.e. usually 2½ metres. The log is now ready to be conveyed into the plant for peeling.
Peeling : The initial process in peeling is to load and centre the peeler block in the spindles of the veneer lathe. The peeler block must be centred with the axis of the log along the centre line of the lathe spindles to obtain maximum veneer recovery. This can be done manually, but is best achieved by an ‘x - y charging system’. This system uses a laser scanner to measure the block three dimensionally and uses a computer to calculate the largest perfect cylinder within the block. The system then locates the block in the best position for the lathe. The lathe effectively rotates the block against the lathe blade or ‘knife’ which peels the veneer off in long continuous veneer ribbon of consistent thickness.
Clipping : The ribbon of veneer passes from the lathe through manual or automated clipping machines which cut or ‘clip’ the veneer to size, or into smaller strips if defective material has been removed. In some mills producing high quality thin veneer, clipping is done after the continuous ribbons of veneer have been dried so as to maximise the number of full sheets obtained.
Drying : The wet veneer is fed through a drier to reduce its moisture content to about 8% from the ‘green’ moisture content of between 40-140%. The optimum moisture content for gluing depends on the species and density of the veneer, and the adhesive and gluing procedures being used. In mechanical driers the veneer is conveyed through a long chamber in which hot air is circulated Driers can have one, or as many as five separate conveyors, one above the other. The drying time is regulated by adjusting the speed of the conveyors and/or the temperature of the hot air.
Jointing or Veneer Repair : Small strips of veneer may be jointed into full size sheets by edge gluing, stitching or using perforated tape. Open defects may be repaired by using plugs to upgrade the veneer.
Crossbands : The core veneers that run across the panels at right angles to the face veneers are termed ‘crossbands’. In a 2400mm x 1200mm panel the crossbands can be produced by a smaller lathe, or by cutting full sheets of veneer into two.
Grading : The dried, clipped and perhaps jointed or repaired veneers are graded in preparation for use in plywood manufacture.
Sliced Veneer : In general plywood manufacture the veneer is rotary peeled. It is used because of its lower cost and higher yield. However, sliced veneer can be produced by a ‘slicer’, the strips of veneer being cut in a straight line action. Sliced veneers are generally used for decorative faces to highlight the natural timber grain pattern or ‘figure’. This pattern can be varied depending on the angle of the slice through the log.
Plywood Fabrication Lay-up : The dried, graded veneers are usually assembled in two bundles in preparation for the spreading operation. In one bundle the graded faces and long bands are assembled and the other consists of the crossbands or in the case of three ply, the cores. It is these crossbands or cores which are run through the glue spreader. Different grades of plywood are made from various grades of faces, backs, crossbands and cores. In a three ply construction only the centre veneer passes through the glue spreader. The glue is transferred to the adjacent veneers in the pressing operations.
Glue Mixing : The adhesives currently used for plywood manufacture are based on synthetic resins and are all thermo-setting, i.e. they are cured by heat and are not replasticised by subsequent heating. The adhesives have a defined series of bond tests and are grouped as shown below on the basis of their durability.
|A Bond||Phenol, Resorcinol or Tannin|
|Fully weather resistant|
|B Bond||Melamine fortified Urea|
|Partially weather resistant (2-5 years|
|C Bond||Urea Formaldehyde||Interior glue - high humidity applications|
|D Bond||Extended Urea formaldehyde||Interior glue - low humidity|
In glue mixing, fillers, a little water and perhaps some caustic soda are added and thoroughly mixedwith the synthetic resin. The fillers normally used are nutshell and/or wheatflour and are used to bulk up the glue, improve the initial tack of the glue, improve the transfer of the glue from the spread to the unspread veneer, and lower the glue costs by reducing the amount of resin required.
Glue Spreading :
In the glue spreading operation it is usual to spread glue on both sides of the crossbands simultaneously by passing them through the glue spreader rollers. The plywood sheet is then assembled with the spread crossbands between the longbands and/or the face veneers. The resultant assembly is known as the lay-up.
The packs of spread veneers are now ready for the pressing operation. They can either go directly to the hot press or more usually they first undergo a prepressing operation. The prepressing is carried out in a cold press which has one large daylight (or opening). A pack of spread veneers, usually enough for two or three hot press loads, is placed under pressure at normal atmospheric conditions. The aims of this process are to transfer the adhesive from the spread to the unspread surface of the veneer to obtain a better glue bond and to develop some strength (using the initial tack) in individual panels to make subsequent loading of the hot press easier. This decreases the amount of degrade due to handling between spreading and hot pressing.
Hot Pressing :
The spread assemblies are bonded together under high temperature and pressure in a large multiopening hydraulic hot press. The normal hot press has from six to fifty daylights, operating at a press temperature around 140°C and a pressure of around 1MPa. The packs remain under the prescribed conditions of temperature and pressure until curing of the glue takes place. Smaller presses are loaded manually while the larger presses have automatic loading and unloading equipment. After exiting the hot press the panels are flood sprayed with water, stacked and allowed to cool. This final process brings the plywood close to normal moisture content and improves the panel’s flatness and stability.
Trimming, Filling and Sanding :
Finally the plywood is trimmed to size. Those panels requiring it may be filled or repaired and most plywood is then sanded. After stamping with the required brands the plywood is packed ready for despatch.
Quality Assurance :
The PAA quality brand stamp ensures the product has been manufactured under the PAA third party audited industry wide quality control program. This program is a combination of process quality control and end product testing carried out within each mill, and independent end product testing of samples from every production shift and regular mill inspections by the PAA.
Laminated Veneer Lumber :
Laminated veneer lumber (LVL) is primarily used as a structural beam, rather than as a panel as in the case of plywood. Structural LVL is manufactured in a similar manner as plywood, the main difference being all (or most) of the veneers have their grain aligned longitudinally, rather than alternating perpendicular and parallel to the length. Structural LVL is manufactured with A bond gluelines and to a quality controlled manufacturing specification or ‘recipe’! The significant advantage of the parallel veneers is the naturally occurring strength defects in solid wood are evenly distributed thus minimising their effects. Structural LVL manufactured to AS/NZS4357 has known, consistent and reliable structural properties.
Advantages of LVL :
The naturally occurring defects in sawn timber limit its structural properties, and as the trend in the available timber resource shows a decline in size, quality and volume, reconstituted products like LVL are subject to a fast growing demand.
Superior Strength and Stiffness :
The randomising of the naturally occurring strength defects in timber, such as knots and sloping grain, makes LVL much stronger and stiffer than the parent material. In fact, the tensile strength can be tripled, a very useful property for tension chords of trusses and the outer laminate in glue laminated beams.
Long Lengths :
As the diameter of the available logs is decreasing, LVL offers large sections of long lengths, 12m being a standard length. Additionally, LVL is available in widths up to 1.2m.
Dimensional Accuracy and Straightness :
LVL offers material of consistent and accurate dimension plus exceptional straightness. These properties offer large labour savings in construction, and less call back problems on completion.
As the material is already ‘seasoned’, there is no need to allow for shrinkage - LVL is a stable material.
LVL Manufacturing Process :
LVL can be manufactured in a plywood press in a 2400mm x 1200mm ‘biscuit’. After rip sawing into beams these can be joined with special nail plates to make longer beams. The second method of manufacture is in a continuous purpose built press which produces ‘slabs’ of any length. The joints in the outer veneers can be scarfed, or lapped and are staggered throughout the cross section. The inner veneers are also staggered and may be butt joined, thus providing an effective means for the steam to escape while the slab is in the long hot press, thus avoiding any blows’. Blows are when the glueline is blown apart by steam pressure before the bonding has been completed. After exiting the press the continuous LVL is cross cut to the desired length, and later rip sawn to standard widths.
High Structural Reliability :
As a result of the wide and even distribution of the timber characteristics in the reconstitution process there is very little variation in the material properties along each length or from piece to piece of LVL. Its structural properties are consistent and can be used by designers with confidence.
Glued LVL and Plywood I-Beams :
Glued I-beams utilising LVL’s high tensile and compressive strengths in their flanges, and plywood’s high panel shear capacity in their webs, provide a structurally efficient beam. These beams are extremely light, very stable and have exceptional strength and stiffness. Holes for services are able to be made through the web, the maximum size and location depending on the support locations and loading.
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